Series Champ Giants: Some Notable Observations

Updated: October 30, 2014
Photo by SD Dirk on Flickr

Photo courtesy of SD Dirk on Flickr

Having just crowned the new World Series Champion Giants all of today’s discussion seems to center around whether the Giants qualify as a “dynasty”. Who cares? It’s in the eye of the beholder. But that discussion misses some more interesting points:

  • While some individual games were lopsided, we got the drama of a Game 7, only the 2nd one since 2002.
  • As for the “dynasty” conversation, detractors point to the Giants’ off-years of 2011 and 2013 where they failed to even make the playoffs. But in the 3 championship years nobody looked at them as a dominant team either, especially this year when they won 88 games as a wild card. Clearly this is a team built for the postseason rather than the regular season and it worked out. Like the NY Giants 2 recent Super Bowl titles, they were decent-to-good teams that got hot at the right time. Except having done it now 3 times in 5 years, it’s not a fluke.
  • Posey photo

    I’m the last person to gush over what I just saw and proclaim it as the most epic performance ever (see ‘Mike Greenberg’)…the “Instant Classic”. But Madison Bumgarner’s performance this year truly ranks among the all-time legendary World Series pitching performances. The only ones that compare are Christy Mathewson with 3 shutouts in 1905, and Sandy Koufax in 1965 who lost Game 2 and then won Games 5 and 7 (on 2 days rest). MadBum literally carried his team. His dominance in 3 games and Ironman performance is literally something we may never see again.

  • This team is loaded with under-the-radar winning players. We know how clutch Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence can be. The unsung bullpen is a strength. Overall the Giants won’t help your Fantasy Team much, but Brandon Crawford? Winning player. Joe Panik? Winning player. Their highlight-reel double-play in the 4th was a turning point in Game 7. This team seems to be loaded with unspectacular but winning players.
  • The only thing un-Giant-like about Game 7 was kicking the ball around like Little Leaguers on Alex Gordon’s line drive in the 9th. And then it seemed uncharacteristic there for a Royals player to not be in position to try and score on the play. No matter…MadBum was in charge.
  • Now what do you do with the Panda? He’s now a free agent. Pablo Sandoval can’t stay healthy through a season (and with his “body”, down time will only get worse). But he’s a clutch guy you want in the middle of the lineup in the postseason. Tough decision.
  • Jake Peavy was a nice acquisition for the regular season…but how can he possibly be a regular starting pitcher on 2 consecutive WS championship teams?
  • People have started drawing parallels between Buster Posey’s early career and that of Derek Jeter…charismatic but low-key leaders, main contributors, playing a key position, bland interviews, both Rookie-of-the-Year, 3 championships in 5 years vs. 4 in 5, etc.  Let’s not compare them. But Buster does have an MVP. And he’s just a transcendent player..the Giants got good when he arrived. Like with Joe Montana, there’s a calm feeling among his teammates no matter the situation, ‘we’ll be alright, we have Buster Posey’. When Buster moved on from college at Florida State the team kept his locker intact as a shrine for a full year…that was the sort of reverence and inspiration he engendered with his quiet confidence and work ethic. No slight to Jeter, it’s unfair to both to compare them, Buster is his own unique phenomenon.
  • Bochy photo from

    People already had Bruce Bochy tagged as a future Hall-of-Famer before this Series. His teams are always prepared, fundamentally sound and focused on winning. As always his subtle moves were evident in this Series. He started Juan Perez in LF for Game 7 with defense in mind…Perez’ clutch grab of Aoki’s drive down the left field line in the 5th saved at least a run (and maybe the game). And where normally the relievers hang in the dugout for the early innings, Bochy told Jeremy Affeldt early on to go to the ‘pen and put on his knee brace (which he wouldn’t normally do until later). Bochy sensed Tim Hudson wouldn’t go long. Entering in the 2nd inning Affeldt’s clean 2-1/3 IP bridge to MadBum was an under-appreciated but heroic effort. Like Posey, Boch appears to be a matter-of-fact, yup-this-is-how-we-do-it simple guy, but there’s a lot more going on there.

Is this a ‘dynasty’? The Giants seem like they could use a couple more decent OFs and certainly a couple good starting pitchers to even look fearsome.  But in today’s professional sports where there are no more dominant, complete teams, this could qualify as a mini-dynasty. I’d prefer to just focus on some heroic and entertaining performances and say, I enjoyed the show.

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